Leading from the front and embracing a challenge comes naturally to Mushfiqur Rahim, who is now the only wicketkeeper-batsman in the history of the game to have scored two double hundreds in Test Cricket.
He is not as talented as Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan, but it tells us something about him that he along with them has been one of the pillars of Bangladesh Cricket for so so long.
Mushfiqur just digs in and bats as if his life depends over it - the mere sport, which even if reflects it in many ways, can never be life. Mushifur has his adequately strong and precise technique and he survives, to live.
This is exactly what he did on Monday, November 12, against Zimbabwe and played one of his best knocks, not for the quality - the effort in Hyderabad against India was sterner - but for his risk-free longevity across 421 balls for an outstandingly well controlled, 219.
"I have been able to score without playing some of my favourite shots. It shows me that in the last 5-7 years I developed a lot of shots, which helped me to score runs playing low-risk cricket and that is a big gain for me as a batsman," Mushfiqur said at the end of Day 2, "It is very important when you are playing Tests, patience is key. And when you are playing on a wicket like Mirpur, you are never set to be honest."
"I think, as a batsman, it was also a big plus point for me, because on other wickets maybe I would have gone for my shots and thought of playing this ball in that direction and that ball in the other," he affirmed.
Amidst doubts and opinions that he should let go the glovework and just focus on becoming the best batsman that he could be, Mushfiqur feels, "As I have said repeatedly, keeping helps me a lot. That doesn't mean that I will score centuries or double centuries in every match where I keep. But it's my process and I am a big believer in process and preparation,"
"It really helps me. Now I have to contribute in the way the team management decides. It sometimes happens that there is a bit of a problem managing the workload of the two roles, but I think it is a challenge which I always enjoy," he asserted, "I am the kind of person who does not want to sit in the dressing room doing nothing; I want to stay as much as possible on the field and contribute, feel like I am doing something for the team and my country," and expressed, "If I continue to be given this responsibility I believe I will be able to do it,"
In context of the game and the series, which Zimbabwe leads 1-0, Mushfiqur definitely sees Bangladesh's first innings total of 522/7 dec as an opportunity to further build pressure on the visitors, who finished off the day at 25/1.
"If we can win this game, this innings will be on top of every other innings. We drew the Galle Test so the focus will be on winning this game. Galle was tough. We had to reply to their big first innings total," he emphasized, "There was plenty of help for the bowlers on this wicket, and Zimbabwe were bowling well too. Both innings are different, and I will say that this was a good innings, not my best, because I played a lot of deliveries. I was also more compact," and signed off.
(Inputs from Cricbuzz)